OPA Review by Arlan Wise
Why are the planets named as they are? Who decides the name for a planet, especially for the newly discovered objects? What has been the result of astronomers deciding that Pluto is no longer to be designated as a planet? These are the questions that form the basis of this book.
Ancient astrology was based on observation of the night sky We no longer do this. Astronomers discover a new object in the sky, name it, and then we astrologers accept the name, the myth, and the archetype of that name without the years of observation that the “older’ planets have. The new names have not yet stood the test of time. There is also the fact that astronomers are discovering belts and zones of planet-like objects.
“Today we distinguish “celestial objects” from planetary bodies – not to mention the differences between asteroids in general and Trans-Neptunians, Kuiper Belt Objects or even Centaurs “
The book ponders how we, as astrologers, deal with these new discoveries. Patricia Garner suggests that
“we need to call a moratorium on populating astrological charts with every latest celestial body”. Her message, and the theme of this book, is “we need to look before we name”. There is a chapter on the importance of naming, stating that names create reality and that once perceptions are set it is hard to change them. She describes in detail the interesting processes of how Uranus and Neptune received their names.
Pluto has his own chapter and in it she suggests that the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet is indicative of an astrological paradigm shift. She analyses the chart of the official announcement of Pluto’s demotion. She introduces the idea of “post-Pluto” and how it affects us as astrologers. Pluto has now been reclassified to his status as a planet. This does not change the purpose of this book. It holds its value as the history of the event and will be of use to astrologers in the future who wonder how such a thing happened and why Pluto was seen as a dwarf planet between 2006 and 2017.
This book makes us think about the astrology that we take for granted and opens questions as to how to use the new discoveries. It is well documented with footnotes. My only suggestion is that I would have preferred to have the many charts she discusses printed. so that we could see the chart as we read her delineations.
Patricia gives us a good summery of the work done by some master astrologers such as Rob Hand, Nicolas Campion, and Bernadette Brady. We are introduced to their work so that we become familiar with it even if we have never read it. She quotes and credits many other astrologers. It is a great read for the thinking person who loves new ideas to chew on. This is a good book.